Census 2020 and Voting: Important Differences

Census 2020 and Voting: Important Differences

There are some key differences between counting in the census, and making your vote count. 


Census 2020: The Census is mandated every 10 years by the U.S. Constitution. The information collected is used to create statistics about the population living in the U.S.

Voting 2020:  You cast your ballot to vote on candidates and ballot issues in primary and general elections.  How you vote is strictly confidential.


Census 2020: Counting all Montanans is critical because it determines the state’s share of federal funding over the next decade, provides data for planning, shapes voting districts and whether Montana gets a 2nd Congressional representative

Voting 2020:  You elect individuals to represent you when making laws for our community, state and nation.  The basis for our representative democracy is choosing who represents you. 


Census 2020: The Census counts EVERYONE living in the United States once, only once, and in the right place.    

Voting 2020:  Only citizens of United States 18 or older who are registered to vote.  Registration information:  sosmt.gov/elections/vote


Census 2020: Online, by phone, or by mail

Voting 2020:  Only paper forms are used for absentee and poll ballots, and voter registration.


Census 2020: An invitation to complete the Census will go to every household in mid-March 2020.

Voting 2020:  Primary election:  June 2, 2020.  General election:  November 3, 2020.  Absentee ballots are mailed to voters 25 days before elections.


Census 2020: At home or at a “Be Counted” location. A map of  “Be Counted”  sites can be found at CENSUS.MT.GOV.    

Voting 2020:  All ballots must be received in your official polling place or county election office by close of polls on election day.


The Census and Voting are both completely confidential, safe, and secure.


Here is a link to a chart that can be downloaded and printed that summarizes this information:

 PDF iconcensus-vote-outline.pdf